Surrey councillors demand more boots on the ground as RCMP blocks deployment of SPS officers

SURREY Councillors Doug Elford and Mandeep Nagra have issued a forceful call to action for Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke and the RCMP to stop blocking the deployment of 33 experienced Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers.

They point out that the deployment has been stalled due to the mayor’s political agenda, endangering Surrey residents and jeopardizing the goal of the SPS to increase the number of boots on the ground to prevent crime.

The councillors noted that the SPS was created to replace the broken RCMP model and to bring more boots on the ground to Surrey’s streets. Unfortunately, the RCMP is now blocking the deployment of experienced SPS officers, putting politics over the safety of Surrey residents, they added.

Elford has accused Locke of creating a double standard by requesting more police resources from the Province while actively preventing 33 experienced Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers from being deployed to patrol the streets of Surrey to prevent crime, making the city less safe.

“We have been advocating for more boots on the ground to protect Surrey residents, and these 33 experienced officers are ready to be deployed,” said Elford. “It is unacceptable that the RCMP is hindering the deployment of these officers and jeopardizing public safety.”

Mandeep Nagra
Photo: Safe Surrey Coalition

Nagra emphasized that the safety of Surrey residents should be the top priority and that experienced SPS officers should be deployed immediately.

“If we want to prevent more incidents of violent crime, we need more boots on the ground patrolling our streets,” added Nagra. “The broken RCMP model has fewer boots on the ground, and the recent incidents of violence demonstrate that we need more resources to keep our city safe.”

Elford and Nagra are calling on Locke and the RCMP to immediately authorize the deployment of the 33 SPS officers, honor the Joint SPS-RCMP Human Resources Strategy and Plan agreement signed in 2022, and prioritize the safety of Surrey residents. They also intend to call on the federal and provincial governments to intervene if the RCMP continues to block the deployment of these officers.

“The safety of Surrey residents is not a bargaining chip for political gain,” asserted Elford. “The mayor and the RCMP must prioritize public safety over politics and allow these experienced SPS officers to patrol our streets to prevent crime.”

Elford and Nagra’s condemnation comes as Surrey faces a surge in violent crime, including gang shootings, multiple stabbings on transit, and an act of terrorism by ISIS in recent weeks. The deployment of experienced SPS officers could help prevent such incidents in the future, they say.

The councillors point out that as the police board chair, it is Locke’s responsibility to ensure that Surrey is safe. They believe that the mayor has failed in her duty to protect the community and is putting the safety of Surrey residents at risk.